Bibi Says it Big, But Does It Matter?

There’s your inside voice. There’s your OUTSIDE VOICE. AND THEN THERE’S BIBI NETANYAHU’S 2,000 POINT PRESENTATION FONT VOICE which he used Monday to accuse Iran of lying about its efforts to build nuclear weapons.


In a bizarrely theatrical performance, the Israeli prime minister unveiled 55,000 pages of Iranian documents that meticulously document the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Proof, he said, that Tehran had been deceiving the world about the intentions of its nuclear program as it negotiated the Iran nuclear deal back in 2015. All the more reason, he said, for the US to leave the deal.

But, as many knowledgeable observers quickly pointed out, the document cache — stolen from a Tehran warehouse by Mossad agents in the dead of night — doesn’t show that Tehran has violated the deal since it went into effect in 2016.

So who exactly was Bibi’s audience? Iran, for one thing. Swiping 55,000 pages of documents from right under the Mullahs’ noses is a deliciously humiliating taunt of its own. Bibi’s other main target is Donald Trump, who must decide by 12 May whether to pull the US out of the Iran deal, which Netanyahu always vehemently opposed.

But it hardly seems likely that the Donald needs a nudge from Bibi. The US president has made no secret of his disdain for the accord — chiefly because its main provisions expire over time and because it doesn’t rein in Tehran’s regional ambitions. Trump appeared unmoved by French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts last week to find a compromise that would keep the US in the deal. And his top advisers — National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — both want to scrap the deal too.

Two-thousand points for Bibi’s effort here, but he may be pushing on an open door.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

More Show less

Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

More Show less

It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.